In the introduction to our Half-Life: Alyx review, Dustin observed that the game was “shouldering the hopes of the virtual reality industry.” The first post-Alyx Steam Hardware Survey results are in, and it appears as though Alyx has come through: by one estimate, a whopping 950,000 new headsets were connected to Steam in the month after Alyx launched.
As Road to VR points out, that’s the biggest single-month increase ever, more than triple the previous record set over the December-January holiday season. April’s Steam Hardware Survey shows 1.91% of Steam users had a VR headset of some kind connected to their PC – making VR twice as popular on Steam as Linux with about half the number of users who are on MacOS.
It’s worth noting that Steam’s reported numbers in the hardware survey are a bit fuzzy. First, the survey reports ‘monthly connected headsets,’ which only means that a headset was connected while a user was logged into Steam – it doesn’t say whether the headset was actually used. Second, the numbers are reported as a share of Steam’s overall user population rather than in raw totals, so we don’t have a firm figure on exactly how many Steam users own VR headsets.
Helpfully, Road to VR has an in-house algorithm that computes estimates based on available information, and they say the model suggests about 950,000 more monthly connected VR headsets in April over March, which makes for about 2.7 million headsets in the Steam ecosystem.
The survey also shows that Valve’s own share of the VR market has increased, making it the third biggest VR hardware manufacturer on Steam after Oculus and HTC just a year after the launch of the Valve Index.